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Updated: December 2nd, 2010 9:52pm
Twins tender contracts to Hardy, Capps; Repko, Neshek re-signed

Twins tender contracts to Hardy, Capps; Repko, Neshek re-signed

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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The Minnesota Twins tendered contracts to 26 players prior to Thursday night's deadline -- most notable, shortstop J.J. Hardy and closer Matt Capps.

They also re-signed outfielder Jason Repko ($600,000) and reliever Pat Neshek ($625,000) to 2011 contracts.

Hardy, 28, hit .268/.320/.394 with six home runs in 375 plate appearances last season, but he missed a large portion of the year with wrist troubles, and the Twins have been looking around for speedier middle-infield options.

With the acquisition of Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- and with manager Ron Gardenhire all but declaring Alexi Casilla a starter somewhere in the middle infield -- questions lingered as to whether the Twins would non-tender Hardy.

He earned $5.1 million in 2010 and could command roughly $6 million through arbitration in 2011.

If the Twins elect to utilize a starting middle infield of Nishioka and Casilla, Hardy could be used as trade bait this offseason.

Teams had until 11 p.n. Thursday to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players under team control. The arbitration filing period is Jan. 5 to 15, and teams exchange arbitration salary figures with players on January 18.

Arbitration hearings take place from Feb. 1 to 21, but the Twins traditionally reach settlements with players prior to that point.

The signings of Repko and Neshek puts 11 players under contract for the 2011 season.

Players tendered contracts on Thursday were: Joe Benson, David Bromberg, Alex Burnett, Drew Butera, Capps, Alexi Casilla, Rob Delaney, Brian Duensing, Deolis Guerra, Hardy, Luke Hughes, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Manship, Jose Mijares, Jose Morales, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Ben Revere, Anthony Slama, Kevin Slowey, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Tolbert, Rene Tosoni, Danny Valencia and Delmon Young.

The major-league roster is at 37 players.

Tom Pelissero contributed to this report.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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